Today’s Topic: September crop report shows decline in cotton forecast

by | Sep 24, 2013

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

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The September crop report from USDA shows more of the same for most row crops in North Carolina, with no movement in yield projections from the August report.

The exception to that is cotton, which continues to see declines in yield. The latest forecast shows a yield of 699 pounds per acre, down 76 pounds from August. Production is now forecast at 670,000 bales, a 45 percent drop from last year.

The state average yield for corn is still on pace to tie a record, with a projected yield of 132 bushels per acre. That statewide average probably means little to farmers in Western North Carolina who have their corn crop because of the rain and flooding that occurred this spring and summer.

There seems to be a bit of mystery surrounding the flue-cured tobacco crop this year. The USDA reports indicate total production will be around 300 million pounds. But farmers and some tobacco experts are predicting the final number could be a little higher, maybe 310 million pounds. There are two things they all seem to agree on – a shortage of barn space will likely extend harvest into October, and the quality of the crop is looking good. Prices also are good, and farmers are probably wishing they had more to sell.

Other crop yields are doing OK, but not as well as last year’s record numbers. Peanuts look above average at 3,600 pounds per acre, and that number looks even better if you don’t compare it to last year’s monster crop, which yielded 4,100 pounds per acre.

Soybeans are hovering right around the 10-year average for that crop. The yield projection is holding constant at 30 bushels per acre, and the average is 31.

Click on the audio player below to listen to Commissioner Troxler and Rhonda talk about the latest North Carolina crop report.

[Audio:|titles=Today’s Topic for Sept. 24]

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